King of choice
One of Denver's big suburban school systems, the Douglas County School District (DCSD), added a hammer to its toolbelt of school-choice options yesterday, when the board unanimously voted to pilot a district-wide voucher program in the upcoming school year. The program will offer 500 students $4,575 each to attend one of a score of eligible area private schools (including religious schools)—with an apparent expectation of growing it after this pilot year. The price tag: Free. In fact, by DCSD calculations, the program will save the district money, because each voucher will be for less than it would cost the district to educate these kids in-house. Considering how rapidly Douglas County has been growing, and the cost of expanding and staffing district schools to serve this burgeoning enrollment, we may have here an illuminating example of how “going private” is cheaper, pleasing to those who want to choose their schools, and—maybe—provides a better education. Stand by, as this is certain to be interesting.
“Douglas County school board unanimously OKs voucher plan to help pay for private school tuition,” by Karen Auge, Denver Post, March 16, 2011.
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